One of the greatest stories of all time is that of the humble beginnings of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. His birth was foretold for centuries through the mouths of the prophets of old. Many anxiously awaited the signs of the birth of our Savior. Then one dark night in Bethlehem, in a stable, He was born. This baby who would grow to become the only being capable of saving mankind was wrapped in swaddling clothes and laid down in a manger. The King of Kings, resting amidst the barn animals taking His first breaths while the angels looked down upon Him. I wish I could have been there to witness this moment in time. How incredible it would have been to see Mary and Joseph as they knelt together over their first born child as any new parents would. What a joyous night!
About 2,000 years have passed since that momentous event and the world has drastically changed since then. Christmas was founded and has evolved into the very commercialized holiday we know it as today. Decorations are stocked in stores before Halloween is over and Thanksgiving is practically passed over in the rush to get a deal on Christmas gifts over Black Friday. It is without a doubt the biggest holiday of the year, but maybe not for the right reasons.
You’ve seen over the past few weeks how much our family loves our Christmas traditions: the baking, the gift wrapping, the lights, the stories. We love the fun holiday hype as much as the next family! It’s a fun way to serve others, spend time with our families, and think about others. However, it is important not to lose sight of the real meaning of Christmas. Christmas is the time of year we celebrate the humble birth of Christ; the time of year we should dedicate to reflecting on that incredible story and how it should affect our lives today.
Which brings me to one of the most special traditions our family has carried on to this day: the Luke II tradition. On the night of Christmas Eve, my family would gather together in our living room. Before playing any games together or eating treats or exchanging gifts, we would light candles and huddle around our Dad as he opened his bible. We would all sit and listen while he read us the second chapter of the book of Luke. After he finished, we would turn on the short Luke II video put out by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The combination of the scriptures read by candlelight and the wordless movie rendition touched our hearts and reminded us of the real reason for the season.
This is one tradition I plan to carry on with my own children. Tara’s family did not have this tradition growing up. After she married our brother Tyler, he told her how much he loved hearing the story of the Savior’s birth and also reading the story by candlelight. She loves this tradition now because it was so special to him, and because they have now made it special for their own family.
I recommend you and your family give it a try this year as well. It will bless your home and your Christmas holiday. Merry Christmas everyone!